Congratulations to all of our young members that ran cross country for their school! 

A few weeks ago, Crystal Tressler, our Treasurer and mom to David Tressler, FSRC High School Member who runs for Oakdale, attended the end-of-season banquet for Oakdale High School boys’ and girls’ teams. Crystal was touched by what the high school runners had to say about their achievements as well as their struggles, which rings true for all us, runners. Read below Crystal’s brief summary and the runners’ bios that follow.

Each senior gave a brief speech about what cross country has meant to them and it was exactly what you would have heard from any adult member of the Steeplechasers. Running simply brings them so much joy from the combination of love of the sport, friendships forged into family, and the feeling that you can accomplish so much more than you ever thought possible by pushing yourself to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

It was so heartwarming to hear what an impact running has had on their lives and how they’ve come to love it, even after it has taken them to their edge or broken them. Many confessed that running is hard or that “running sucks.” They have had moments of defeat through injuries, stiff competition, or grueling workouts intended to weed out the weak. However, that didn’t make them give up. They came back for more and proved their persistence and resilience. 

I hope that each of them does keep coming back to the road or track after this season in their lives has ended to find that literal and spiritual grounding that running will continue to provide.

Jenna Conley, Catoctin

(Photo credit: Jenna Conley, second from lower right)

Jenna competed in cross country championships including going to the State Championships again this year. When not running cross country for her school, Jenna is on the trails and competes in some of the most difficult races in the area. This summer she completed Catoctin 50K and more recently, Fire on the Mountain 25K.  And then there was the Virtual Yeti 50K just for fun! Jenna is amazing!

Sofia Driver, Frederick 

(Photo credit: Sofia Driver)

Sofia had a great XC season. She ran some of her best times this year and consistently improved all season, including exceeding her goal of running a 5K in under 21 minutes (20:53). The FHS XC team won nine meets this season and she was part of the varsity team also known as “The Gold Rush.” Sofia finished her season 24th at the State meet and beat her Bull Run time (same course) by over a minute. Great job Sofia!

Daniel Fink, Frederick 

(Photo Credit: Cadets Sports Information Director on Sep 12, 2022.)

After running with the Spires last year, Daniel ran his very first race as a Freshman at Frederick High this fall. Having never run a full 5K before race day, he was very nervous the night before about being able to run the whole race without walking. His parents kept reminding Daniel that it was his first race, it was a learning race, and that no matter what, even if you are running super slow, don’t walk. He ran the whole race without walking, got a decent time, and when asked how the race went, he said, “It was hard but I could get addicted to this!” And he is! He looks forward to every race, to getting his next PR, and hopes to go to States before he graduates. Great start to your running career!

Jack Manning, St. John’s

(Photo Credit: Jack Manning)

Jack finished out his high school running career with an impressive finish at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association cross country championship meet. He placed 10th overall and was top finisher from his school. Way to go!

Caroline Matthews, Boonsboro

(Photo Credit: Caroline Matthews)

Caroline runs for Boonsboro High School and finished 2nd at 1A-West Regionals and 5th at States, fantastic!

David Tressler, Oakdale

(Photo Credit: Kathleen Brightman)

David finished his second year of cross country at Oakdale. His team won Regional Division 3A-West Championships and went to States, where David cut 15 seconds off his last year’s time at Bull Run! He PR’d in the 3-mile and 5K race distances with 17:01:40 and 17:11:00, respectively.  Go get ‘em, David!